How prepared are you to rise above challenges?
By Funmi Komolafe
Today’s edition is still about the essence of Easter and today’s Christian.
Our evidence that Christ is risen is not in doubt. Our authority is found in Matthew 28 vs. 5 & 6, which tells us what happened when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb of Jesus.
“ And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay”.
Christ rose that we might have eternal life.
For a moment let’s look at the behavior of some of the people around our Lord Jesus at the peak of his trial and crucifixion and how this may be crucial to our breakthrough.
The character being considered here is Pontius Pilate. Luke 23 vs. 1-6 but for this purpose we’ll quote only verse 4 “ Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man”. Note- That Pilate was sure Jesus wasn’t guilty of any of these accusations, not even one.
Matthew 27 vs. 17-20. Let’s see what happened when Pilate asked the protesters who he should release, Jesus or Barabbas?
Verses 19 &20 is our reference here “ When he ( Pilate) set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus”.
Note the Divine revelation to the wife of Pilate.
How do you respond to Divine revelation given to you directly or to a friend and he/ she comes to tell you? Do you act prayerfully on it or just dismiss it? .
From our Biblical studies, we find that these two reasons might be the reason Pilate symbolically washed his hands off the case of Jesus.
Was that the best he could do?
Matthew 27 vs. 24 “ When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it”.
Before this, act of Pilate, let’s see another action of Pilate.
According to Holy Bible, Luke 23 vs. 7 “ And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time”.
Note what happened in verse 12 of Luke 23 “ And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves”. Brethren, did you get the message. Two men who used to be enemies suddenly became friends, because they found a common threat in Jesus who must be dealt with.
In the light of this, can one really say that Pilate was sincere when he washed his hands off the case of Jesus? Or did he decide to wash his hands off the case because of the dream his wife had?
The issue here is, can you and I stand for the truth in the midst of pressure?
Will you as a sister in law stand for the truth in a family meeting where your brother’s wife is being accused of unfriendly attitude, pride and all sorts of accusations?
Have you not been attending family meetings where people are planning to use whatever means to force your brother’s wife out of her matrimonial home because she is yet to have a child?
Are you not plotting to put your colleague in the office in trouble because you want to take his post? Yet you claim to be a Christian?
After all that Pilate did, he could not escape the pressure of his conscience.
According to John 19 vs. 19 “ And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS”.
Still troubled by his conscience, let’s see another action of Pilate as recorded in John 19 vs. 38 “ And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus”.
Brethren, you could see that Pilate was never free from his conscience but was not bold enough to set Jesus free. Did I hear you say, his action was to fulfill what has been written about our Lord Jesus?
What about you? You know what is true but you are not bold enough to stand up for it? You know that as a Christian, you have no business with cultism, visiting herbalists or sorcerers but you still do . All because someone has told you that it is taking too long for God to answer your prayers. Therefore as a single lady, you take all steps to force yourself on a married man just to have a child.
You may not realize what you have done but within a short time, you will find that your so-called short cut to that challenge is the fast track to everlasting pain.
God remains a miracle worker and not a magician.
Or are you like Joseph of Arimathaea, as a rich man, you must not been seen reading your Bible. You don’t even want to seen dancing too much in the church. Or you don’t even have time to attend church services. Your attitude is, whenever the church asks for donation, I will send it.
Brethren, donations, offerings are not the keys to the salvation of souls. Christ expects more from us.
Do you in anyway identify with Christ?
I’ll share with you, the story told by a Reverend at Anglican Church, Ikosi.
He said a Christian young man went to another part of the country for the introduction and engagement ceremony for his fiancée. The lady’s family produced a list that included alcoholic drinks. The groom insisted he would not use his money to buy such drinks. The lady’s family insisted he must buy the drinks. After about two days of deadlock, the groom told the lady’s family that he would rather call off the ceremony. He stood his ground. When the family saw that he was ready to leave, they then asked him to convert every bottle of hot drink to two cartoons of malt drink. The groom agreed and the ceremony eventually took place.
Brethren, do you and I have the courage to uphold our Christian values at all times? Do we not quickly give in to pressure in the name of culture even when we know that such an action could have serious implications for our Christian life?
What do we say to a Christian girl who for the love of money abandoned her faith to become a second wife to a married man of another religion?
Initially, she seemed to be enjoying every bit of it but today as I write, the man is languishing in jail for defrauding his company and our former Christian lady and her children are experiencing the worst form of poverty.
Our prayer is that she retraces her steps back to Christ who is ready to save every sinner.
However, the issue is how prepared are you to rise above challenges? Do you believe that with Christ you will be victorious?
Hold on firmly to Jesus and your break thorough will surprise even you.
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